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13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links

Robert writes a blog tip on how to ask him for a link in his post – A PR tip, don’t beg for links:

‘Never beg a blogger for links. Say, instead, “here’s something you might find interesting.”’

Here’s a few other tips when you’re emailing other bloggers with links. I’m speaking here both as someone who occasionally lets others know about posts I’ve written but also as someone who gets my fair share of emails:

  1. Check to see if they’ve already written about it - This is a pretty important one. If you’re letting them know of a breaking story that they have already posted about it’s not a good look – at least scan their front page before shooting them the email.
  2. Don’t be offended if they don’t reply or use your link - some bloggers (like Robert) get heaps of ‘check out this link’ emails every day. They can’t possibly link to every one or acknowledge everyone with a reply.
  3. Make sure your link is relevant and useful – Be selective in which posts you promote in this way. Only send relevant stories out to bloggers who have a specific interest in that particular niche.
  4. Be Selective in which posts you promote - as interesting as YOU might find every post that you write – consider that every post on a blog is not going to have wide appeal. Carefully select the cream of the crop to promote in this way or you might just develop a reputation for being a bit of a spammer. Perhaps there is something in the story of ‘the Boy who cried Wolf’ to be learned…..we could rewrite it as ‘The Blogger who Cried ‘Great Link!’
  5. Personalize it - In an age when you can notify thousands of people of something with the click of a mouse it’s amazing what using a person’s name can achieve. Show the blogger that you’ve taken the effort to send them and them alone an email by mentioning their blog, name etc and you up your chances of it being read and responded to. If you’re sending notifications to more than one person be especially careful that you don’t send an email out with someone else’s name on it!
  6. Remember that you might not be the only person giving them the tip – I quite often get the same story from multiple people (I guess when you get a reputation in a niche you are often the first place people will turn to when a relevant story breaks). While I like to credit sources of information – sometimes it is hard when you could link to 10 people or when you found it yourself first.
  7. Introduce yourself – Consider a brief introduction (and I mean brief – see below). Blogging is about relationship – people like to link to people they know, respect and have relationship with. A quick introduction of who you are and what your blog is can begin to build relationship. Of course if you are sure they know you already – you might want to skip this one – although if they are a big blogger don’t assume they know you because you’ve had contact with them before – it’s easy to forget. You might want to include a signature in your post with your details to help overcome this.
  8. Keep it brief - Most people are busy and don’t have time to wade through long emails with convoluted explanations or introductions. Attempt to keep it short and to the point.
  9. Keep it informative – An email that says ‘check out this link’ doesn’t give me any reason to check it out. But if you tell me the topic you might just peak my interest. Again – be brief – but give the main point in a few words of what the story is.
  10. Give something away – This might not be appropriate to every post you write. But one thing I often do when notifying someone of a post is to offer them free use of the picture that I have on my post. This is particularly relevant for when I’m notifying someone of a post I’ve written on one of my product blogs. Of course the picture has to be yours to give away (or copyright free) but if you help them make their post be as comprehensive as possible without them having to do a whole heap of work you might just get the result you’re after.
  11. Be Generous with your own links - While I don’t generally consider whether the person chasing a link has linked to me – I suppose in the back of one’s mind must be the memory of a past relationship with the person. If you’ve linked up to them previously you might have made an impression.
  12. Original content is best – If you’re asking for a link to your own story you’ll have a better chance of a link up if it is original content. If you’re just linking to someone else you’re less likely to get linked to. If it’s a story that you’re linking to make sure you add your own comments or take on the story – make it your own in a sense.
  13. Learn from your experiences – As you do this more and more you’ll learn a few things. Firstly you’ll learn who responds well to being notified and who doesn’t. Secondly you’ll learn about what types of links people respond to and what types they ignore. Learn from this and let your future practicing of it be impacted by it. If someone never responds or links up – maybe it’s worth not emailing them any more – you might just be annoying them. If they ask you to stop sending them links – respect their request. If you notice that a certain type of link gets lots of links – consider writing more of these and letting people know about them etc.

I’m sure there are other tips that readers here would give. Feel free to add your own tips on how to ask for links from other bloggers in comments below.

Generating Blog Traffic

Arieanna has a good post over at blogging help where she talks about her experience of having some traffic spikes on her blogs and how she recommends others go about Generating traffic. Here’s a couple of her tips:

‘- Write 25-40% original content. For some blogs this will mean reading news feeds, as well as other blogs, to catch news first. You can also consider non-RSS content research to find items or to connect the dots between topics….

- Send emails to big blogs in your area. Pitch a story, write something interesting about your blog, and make that link prominent.’

Poll of the Week – Where does your Traffic Come From?

Bouncing off last week’s poll which identified that most people want to learn how to get more readers to their blog – this week’s poll asks you to identify the way that most of your blog readers currently find your blog/s.

I know picking one might be difficult – but I’ve chosen to make this poll a ‘one choice’ per vote only one so pick the predominant one. If you have more than one blog do it on an overall sense. For example – over my 20 blogs I get the vast majority of readers from search engines.

Here at Problogger that is a little different as I have a higher repeat readership level – but on my bigger blogs SE’s refer larger amounts of readers.

If you want to explain your vote, or talk about how different blogs are different etc you can do so in comments below.

Blog Crushes Revealed – Round 2

BlogcrushReaders are submitting their Blog Crushes thick and fast now. In addition to Round 1′s submissions I have great pleasure in presenting 15 more lovebirds (or love-bloggers). If you want to join their ranks follow the instructions in this post. In the mean time – here are the latest crushes:

Blog Crushes Revealed – Round 1

BlogcrushIt’s time to reveal the first 11 Blog Crushes that readers have for other bloggers.

Do you have a blog crush on another blogger? It’s not about having a ‘real crush’ – but do you admire another blogger? Write a post about your blog crush with a link back to the central blog crush page and then let us know about it so we can add you to the list there. You’ve got until 21 September to get your entry in. In the process you’ll spread some blogging love to another blogger and highlight your own blog a little too.

Blog Crushes

BlogcrushThings have gotten a little heavy in some of the latest comment threads here at ProBlogger so I thought it might be time to put a little love in the air and have some fun.

So I’m suggesting we make the next 7 days about naming our Blog Crushes.

Do you have a crush on another blogger? I don’t mean an actual crush – rather is there a blog or blogger out there that you really admire? Maybe you’re too scared to let them know or are afraid that your admiration is unrequited?

- you like the way they blog
- you find yourself logging onto their blog every day (sometimes more) and staring at their design or drooling over their way with words
- their RSS feed is at the top of your list
- you leave more comments on their blog than you write posts on your own
- you let them know about posts you’ve written in the hope that one day they’ll notice you
- you dream about that elusive spot on their blog roll that you’d love to fill
- every second post you do is about them or their blog

Ok – maybe your crush is as extreme as this – or maybe it’s a little milder – but I want to give people an opportunity to reveal their true love and admiration for the objects of their Blog Crushes.

I’ve done this exercise on other blogs of mine and it’s been a lot of fun.

Here’s how it works.

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Converting One off Visitors to your Blog into Regular Readers

One of the most exciting things about blogging is logging into your blog after a night’s sleep to find that overnight some large site has linked to you and that you’re in the middle of a deluge of visitors. Your statistics package graph (which you check every 13 minutes) has a massive mountain in it in the middle of something that looks like a flat line. Your heart beats faster as you realize how many people are reading your content and if you’ve got Adsense ads on your site you begin to dream of the things you could buy with the income that the influx of visitors might bring – if only you could keep them coming back to your blog….

Of course this is where the problem lies – most influxes of traffic from other sites are usually pretty temporary in nature – they last as long as your link lasts at the top of the other site’s page – a few hours, a day or two perhaps at most – and then things return to normal as your new readers surf off to the next great link put on the site that had linked to you.

Does it have to be this way?

What if you could not only enjoy the influx of visitors but could also convert them to regular and loyal readers of your blog? What if each time you had an big incoming link you had the ability to captivate a percentage of your new readers in such a way that they’d keep coming back?

I’ve been pondering this topic for a couple of years now and whilst I don’t want to pretend I have all the answers (otherwise I’d have 200,000 daily visitors rather than 2,000) I’d like to share a some things that I’ve been working on lately to see if I can convert some of those one off visitors into regular readers.

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Social Bookmarking – Getting your Blog Noticed

Yesterday I mentioned a post at Thirty Stories Up by the name of 7 Mistakes for your First Week of Blogging as part of the 31 Days project – it’s a worthwhile article to read but I want to mention it again not because of what it says but because of the response that it had.

There are over 40 comments on the past now which is pretty cool – Kurt the author of the blog writes in comments that the reason for the response is that the post got picked up and ranked highly by Digg which led to 8000 or so page views in just a 24 hour period – not bad for a blog that has been going for just 20 days! At the time of writing this the post in question is ranked the 11th most ‘dugg’ post for the week so far.

It just goes to show the power of social bookmarking sites like Digg which have the ability to push vast quantities of visitors around the web at the drop of a hat. Having been ‘dugg’ numerous times myself it’s quite an amazing experience. Similarly del.icio.us is another example of a site that has been known to lift the profile of my posts (in fact at present my 31 Days project HQ is ranking well on their popular links page). Furl is yet another example (although from what I can tell it’s less popular than it once was) as is Linkfilter, another smaller social bookmarking sit. The great thing for bloggers is that each of these services allows you to submit/suggest posts to them and all of them accept every submission (unless you spam them) – unlike other sites like Slashdot who strongly moderate submissions.

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Promoting your blog with Advertising

Duncan over at Blog Herald has a good guide to Promoting your blog with advertising where he looks at Google’s Adwords, the BlogAds system, smaller advertising firms and direct advertising on other blogs.

I’ve used Adwords twice and like the idea of it but had pretty average results. Apart from that I’ve never advertised any of my blogs. Having said this I’m interested to hear others experiences. Do you advertise? When, how, what were the results?